|I Found Rival's Love Letter in Randy Priest's Bed
Exclusive the Woman Who Is Expecting Priest's Baby - Day Two
By Janice Burns
Glasgow Daily Record [Scotland]
February 10, 2006
MUM-TO-BE Hilda Robertson found a steamy note from another woman under her Romeo priest's pillow, she revealed yesterday.
The fear that Father Roddy MacNeil was cheating drove 41-year-old Hilda, right, to attempt suicide.
Hilda also said he claimed to want children with her - then said: "What are you going to do about it?" when she told him she was having his baby.
PREGNANT Hilda Robertson was elated as she called her lover - a Catholic priest and her first cousin - to tell him she was carrying his child.
She expected Father Roddy MacNeil to be overjoyed because he had told her he wanted a baby with her.
Instead, he simply asked: "So what are you going to do about it?"
Hilda said yesterday: "The emphasis was on the 'you'."
Roddy, 46, had just finished Mass at his parish Our Lady of the Sea on the island of Barra when Hilda, his secret lover for about two years, phoned to break the news.
Hilda, 41, who has a 20-year-old son with her estranged husband Jim, said: "I was surprised I was pregnant but happy at the same time because I thought it was what we both wanted.
"Roddy was shocked and not happy at all. His reaction was certainly not what I expected.
"I felt that he was basically saying: 'This is your responsibility not mine'. There was no doubt in my mind what he was implying.
"It sounded like he wanted nothing to do with the baby.
"I was even more shocked because he is a Catholic priest.
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing and I hung up the phone.
"He rang me back straight away and said that we needed to sit down and go through it all - I am still waiting."
Roddy pulled out of a pilgrimage to Rome at the last minute after hearing the shock news that he was to become a father to his cousin's child.
Meanwhile, Hilda went on holiday with her sister Kate but spoke to him several times on the phone.
Hilda said: "After I told Roddy I was having his child, he cancelled a long-term parish commitment.
"He had organised a pilgrimage to Rome for his parishioners.
"He cancelled it two weeks before they were due to go and it upset a lot of people and had them asking questions."
Hilda returned to Barra from holiday reassured by her conversations with Roddy that their secret love affair was back on track.
She said: "I thought he had every intention of continuing our relationship and supporting me and his unborn child.
"When I returned to Barra we just got on with our lives as normal, like any other boyfriend and girlfriend." Hilda was already having an affair with Roddy when she left her marital home in Larkhall, Lanarkshire, to move to Barra.
The pair, whose mothers were sisters, had been having unprotected sex for about a year when she became pregnant.
She gave up using contraception after they discussed having a child together.
Hilda said: "We were in love and we agreed that having a baby was the natural progression of our relationship."
But weeks later, in December last year, Roddy was suspended from the priesthood following allegations of a relationship with a woman and concerns over his lack of commitment to his parish.
Hilda said: "Roddy said he was waiting for a call from the bishop because he had asked for a transfer and he wanted to know how things were going to go.
"I called him that night at his house and he told me he couldn't talk because he had Canon Galbraith next door.
"The following morning, Roddy phoned to say that he had been suspended.
"He said it was because he was taking too much time out with the parish and a complaint had also been made about the amount of time that I had been spending at the church house.
"The next day, Roddy called again to say he was going to South Uist to stay with his family for a while."
Three days later, Roddy was summoned to a meeting with the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Ian Murray, in Oban.
Hilda said: "Roddy went to Oban for the meeting with the bishop and then made his way to Glasgow to meet me.
"We met at Glasgow Airport because I had returned from Barra to spend Christmas with my family.
"I asked him how the meeting went and he said he had been told by the bishop to take time out to reflect on what he was doing.
"I had Christmas with my family in Glasgow and went back to Barra for New Year. By then, Roddy had returned to South Uist but during that week he made several trips to Barra.
"We talked a lot about our future together and where we were going."
Hilda says Roddy appeared to have their future all mapped out and told her he would get a transfer to parish on the mainland and set her and their baby up in a house nearby."
He also appeared keen to see the first scan pictures of his baby.
Hilda said: "I showed him the scan pictures and I talked about the baby and about how I felt.
"He said that was why he had come over to Barra - to see the pictures and to take one away with him.
"He couldn't have been that concerned because he didn't take a photo away with him. After his initial shock reaction, Roddy always maintained that he would support me and the baby .
"The plan was for us to leave Barra. Roddy said he would find a parish and he would set me up in accommodation for me and our child.
"He said that it would take time to organise and we left it at that.
"The following day we both ended up leaving the island at the same time. He left to go back to South Uist and I went back to my sister's in Glasgow.
"He called later that night to make sure I was OK. We were still in contact at that time and it seemed everything was still on track.
"He was still giving me the impression that everything was fine."
Days later, Roddy called Hilda again to tell her he had fled South Uist and was in hiding at a friend's house in Loch Etive, Argyll.
Then she got another call from him telling her that he had fled to France and was feeling very sorry for himself.
Hilda said: "Roddy said he was phoning to find out if I was OK but he never once asked after the baby.
"He was feeling very sorry for himself. He told me, 'I'm parishless, homeless and penniless. What am I supposed to do about it? I'm facing a black hole'.
"I was dismayed because one minute everything was OK. The next it felt like there was a huge turnaround."
Hilda said: "I will never have Roddy back. He has done too much and caused me too much pain.
"However, I will give him his full rights as a father.
"I have still got my faith but I will never trust the messenger again."
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